Better Health for Everyone Birth to 21.

Lapeer Pediatrics

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​​​​Know the Facts and Myths

Myth #1:
Vaccine-preventable diseases are not really common anymore; vaccinating my child against these diseases is pointless. Fact:
While some vaccine-preventable diseases are now uncommon, the infectious agents that cause them are still present in some parts of the world. Today’s society is very inter-connected, meaning that these agents can cross borders where high rates of these infectious diseases still occur, and can. This means that any unvaccinated individual may be affected. Vaccines prevent diseases in your child, and help protect others around your child.

Myth #2:
My child does not need a vaccine; he will be better immunized through acquiring the actual disease itself. Fact:
Some argue that immunity gained from surviving a natural infection will provide better protection than those provided by vaccines. While natural immunity can last longer, the risks natural infection from the diseases far outweigh the risks provided by immunization. In fact, the Hib and tetanus vaccines have been found to provide more effective immunity than natural infection!

Myth #3:
Vaccines cause autism.
In 1998, an article was written linking autism to the MMR vaccine, sparking a heated anti-vaccination movement. In 2004, the publisher retracted the article, stating that the data had been falsified and was based on incorrect lab reports. Since then, more than 500 reputable studies have refuted the connection between MMR and development of autism. There is no evidence to suggest that vaccination causes autism.

Myth #4:
Giving my child multiple vaccinations at once is going to overload their immune system, and will cause too many harmful side effects.
Current immunization schedules are based on safety. The American Academy of Pediatrics would not recommend simultaneous vaccinations otherwise. Your child is exposed to foreign antigens constantly, from bacteria in the nose and mouth, to dust. A common cold will cause your child to be exposed to multiple antigens all at once, which does not burden the child’s immune system. In a similar way, vaccines expose a child to multiple foreign antigens at once, and have not been found to overwhelm your child’s immune system once given.
Myth #5:
Disease rates have dropped because of better
hygiene, not vaccinations.
While living conditions have improved, the only real decreases in vaccine-preventable diseases have occurred
after the introduction of a vaccine that prevents the disease. Myth #6:
​Other children are vaccinated, so my child does not need to be.
Immunizations prevent the spread of disease by having a certain number of children vaccinated, referred to as “herd immunity.” In order for herd immunity to be successful, at least 95% of children need to be vaccinated.  Research has shown that current rates of vaccination may not be high enough to provide your child protection through herd immunity.
Myth #7:
​Vaccines are safer when given one at a time. Fact:
Some parents decide to “spread out” the time during which their child receives vaccinations, because they are unsure of the consequences of doing them all at once. There is no scientific evidence to support this approach, and has actually been demonstrated to put your child at risk of contracting a preventable disease.

 Credits to : Mary Charleston PA, Mohammad Al Harastani, MD

Why should I vaccinate my child?

Your child’s immune system is immature, and therefore incapable of fighting off serious and potentially fatal diseases, such as meningitis and measles. Additionally, it may not be able to protect against the complications of other infectious diseases, such as pneumonia and encephalitis. Simply put, your child’s first exposure to a disease may be caused by bacteria that are too strong for your child to fight. Before vaccination, many children died as a result of infectious diseases that we now vaccinate against today. The World Health Organization estimates that at least two million deaths are prevented every year through vaccination.

Over 1 million unvaccinated children die every year from vaccine preventable Rotavirus diarrhea and pneumococcal disease.

The hepatitis B vaccine is the first vaccine to prevent cancer. Measles is a leading cause of death in young children in developing countries with high non-vaccination rates. Getting every newborn vaccinated on schedule helps prevent 48,000 deaths in the U.S. every year. The U.S. is currently facing a Pertussis outbreak. In 2012, almost 49,000 cases of Pertussis were reported to the CDC.